signs of breast cancer

Breast Cancer? How well are you aware of it? Ever wondered what could be the possible signs or symptoms of breast cancer that can help you to suspect it at the earliest if you’re living with it and without any delays, visit a doctor right away because the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment. 

Breast cancer develops commonly in women. Men can also develop breast cancer. But men are rarely diagnosed with it. 

Before we know more about the early symptoms of breast cancer, always keep in mind that these symptoms can also happen with other conditions that are not cancer. But if you detect any of these that worry you, that’s enough for you to suspect some serious condition that you might be living with, and visit your doctor immediately.

Different people detect different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all. Although showing no symptoms could be possible during early-stage breast cancer, timely detection can turn a story of breast cancer into a survivor’s tale. 

The most common symptom is a lump in your breast or armpit typically associated with breast cancer, many a time such lumps aren’t the signs of cancer. As per Mayo Clinic, most are benign, or noncancerous. Others you can look out for include skin changes, pain, a nipple that pulls inward, and unusual discharge from your nipple. 

Below mentioned are the early signs/symptoms that you need to know to detect whether you have breast cancer or not: 

  • A lump in your breast or underarm(armpit) that doesn’t go away. This is often the first symptom of breast cancer that you might feel but not see. Your doctor can usually see a lump on a mammogram long before you can see or feel it.
  • Swelling in your armpit or near your collarbone- This could depict the spreading of breast cancer to lymph nodes in that area. Thickening or Swelling may start before you feel a lump, so refer your doctor if you notice it.
  • Pain and tenderness in any area of the breast, although lumps usually don’t hurt. You may get a prickly feeling. Usually, pain in your breasts is not a sign of breast cancer. But notice if it is there all or most of the time.
  • A flat or indented area on your breast could happen because of a tumor not visible to you or felt by you.
  • Breast changes- You might notice some changes taking place in your breasts such as the size, shape, colour (breast may look red or inflamed) contour, texture, or temperature of your breasts change.
  • A change to the skin, such as irritation, puckering, or dimpling of your breast skin.
  • Changes in your nipple, you can look out for some changes occurring to your nipples like one that:
    • Pulls inward(inverted)
    • pain in the nipple area
    • Dimpled nipple
    • Rash or crusting around the nipple
    • Burns, Itches
    • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area
    • Develops sores
  • Unusual nipple discharge- Other than breast milk, it could be clear, bloody, or another color

Lakshika Thakur is a freelance content writer with She can be found on Instagram.